WP apologises for no-show at GE2020 live Mandarin political debate

WP apologises for no-show at GE2020 live Mandarin political debate
PHOTO: Screengrab/mewatch

Yesterday (July 1) saw for the first time in three decades a live political debate unfold on television for Singapore's upcoming general election. 

The last time that this happened was in 1988 when People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Goh Chok Tong and Lee Hsien Loong went up against Workers’ Party (WP) J.B. Jeyaratnam and Singapore Democratic Party’s (SDP) Chiam See Tong. 

Only the four parties — PAP, Progress Singapore Party (PSP), WP and SDP — that were contesting in the most number of seats for GE2020 were invited to participate.

And while all four seats were filled for the English debate, the men in blue were conspicuously missing during the Mandarin debate that took place at 9pm. Present on television were PAP's One Ye Kung, PSP's Leong Mun Wai and SDP's Bryan Lim.   


When asked about the lack of WP representation in the Mandarin debate, party chief Pritam Singh said in an interview with Today that “the proficiency required to participate in a live debate is of a higher order” as compared to making speeches and communicating effectively with residents in Mandarin. 

"I do have to apologise for the party not sending a representative to the Channel 8 debate yesterday... Thank you for your forbearance and understanding,” he added. 

He assured residents of Aljunied that WP had no difficultly reaching out to its constituents in Mandarin and said that the party would continue to try getting bicultural Singaporeans who can take part in such debates and where interested in public service. 

He also said that WP would be sending a representative to a Mandarin dialogue organised by Chinese-language newspaper Lianhe Zaobao today, but declined to name which candidate would speak on WP’s behalf. 

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